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The UK, along with 26 other anti-whaling countries, respectfully declined the invitation. While we are grateful to the Japanese Government for trying to further discussions on issues of division in the IWC, we believe this initiative serves to further polarise and distract its members from the important conservation work that the IWC undertakes. Furthermore, the IWC is the only body mandated to
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discuss, at plenipotentiary level, issues relating to the conservation and management of whales. The UK therefore considers that the IWC is the only recognised forum in which to hold intergovernmental discussions on whaling.

Prime Minister

Departments: EC Action

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a list of attendees, with their affiliations, of public events hosted at 10 Downing street in the last two years on European Community matters. [130631]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 11 October 2006, Official Report, column 788W.

Departments: Silverfish Productions

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Prime Minister what contracts his office awarded to Silverfish Productions Limited in each of the last three years; and what the cost was of those contracts. [128324]

The Prime Minister: As part of World Aids Day 2005, Silverfish Productions Limited produced a video about HIV/AIDS in Malawi, at a cost of £869.

Honours

Harry Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister why the reason for the removal of an honour from an individual is not routinely included with the notice of forfeiture placed in the London Gazette; if he will make it his policy that such reasons be so included; and if he will make a statement. [130486]

The Prime Minister: The Sovereign may, on the advice of Ministers, cancel an award if the holder is considered unworthy to retain it. It would be unnecessary to repeat this in the London Gazette on every occasion of forfeiture.

Defence

Armed Forces: Deployment

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidelines govern the advance notice to be given of a battalion’s flight dates prior to deployment on operations overseas; and if he will make a statement. [130251]

Mr. Ingram: It is established practice that we give all our soldiers the maximum flight notice possible. Battalions are normally notified of the departure date between 10 and 30 days in advance and actual flight timings are notified at least 10 days in advance.

There may be occasions where unavoidable factors, either operational or aircraft related, result in further changes to the day or time of a flight. In all cases, battalions are contacted as soon as changes appear likely.


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Armed Forces: Training

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2006, Official Report, column 626, on training, what steps he is taking to address consequences for the training of troops of the operational tempo. [130592]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence constantly assesses the impact of operational pressures on the force structure and adjusts programmes accordingly. To accommodate the training for current levels of operational deployment, the focus of training across defence, particularly in the land and air environments, has shifted towards training for specific operations rather than for general contingencies. Training for general contingencies continues, however, to form a significant part of Commander Joint Operations’ exercise programme, which ensures that the knowledge and experience required to command and control such operations is maintained over time.

Armed Forces: Working Conditions

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to how many days rest and recuperation a soldier serving on operations is entitled after (a) four, (b) six, (c) 10 and (d) 12 months active duty is entitled. [130071]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 27 March 2007]: Rest and Recuperation (R and R) is not leave and is to be taken at a time, location and duration specified by the operational commander. R and R may only be granted to individuals or units on periods of continuous operations in excess of four months. The maximum permissible period for each instance of R and R is 14 nights inclusive of travelling time. The number of permissible periods of R and R is dependent upon expected tour length and is subject to the following restrictions:

Army: Publications

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the summer 2006 report of the Chief of the General Staff's briefing team. [124497]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 March 2007]: A copy of the Chief of the General Staffs briefing team summer 2006 report will be made available in the Library of the House.

Merlin Helicopters

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Merlin Mark 1 helicopters are (a) in service, (b) under repair and (c) being cannibalised; and if he will make a statement. [128260]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1437W.


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Military Aircraft: Procurement

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Britten Norman Defender 4S AL Mk1 aircraft have been procured; and how many of these have been delivered to Iraq for use by the Army. [130325]

Mr. Ingram: Four Britten Norman Defender AL Mk1s have now been procured and delivered for use by UK Joint Forces.

All four aircraft have now served in Iraq. To allow for scheduled maintenance, modification/upgrade programmes and/or training requirements only two of the aircraft may have been operational at any one time.

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the acquisition cost was at 2006 values of the Britten Norman Defender 4S AL2 Mk1 aircraft procured by the army; and what the estimated hourly running cost is of these aircraft. [130326]

Mr. Ingram: The acquisition cost of a Britten Norman Defender AL Mk1, based on the Economic Conditions of mid 2006, was in the order of £4.5 million.

The estimated hourly running cost during 2006 is £1,500 per hour.

Military Fatalities: Iraq and Afghanistan

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many fatalities were sustained by UK armed forces resulting from improvised explosive devices attack on (a) USA RG31 vehicles and (b) Canadian RG31 Nyala vehicles in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan in each of the last two years. [130016]

Mr. Ingram: There have been no fatalities sustained by the UK armed forces in USA RG31 vehicles or Canadian RG31 Nyala vehicles during the last two years, in Iraq or Afghanistan, as a result of improvised explosive devices.

Tucanos

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which versions of the Tucano are operated by the Royal Air Force; what the acquisition cost was of each aircraft; and what the average total operating cost is per hour of Tucanos operated by the Royal Air Force. [130015]

Mr. Ingram: The version of the Tucano operated by the RAF is the T Mark 1 for which the full acquisition cost for each aircraft was just over £l million. The total cost per funded flying hour for the Tucano T Mark 1 is £5,411.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the acquisition costs were of (a) the unmanned aerial vehicles deployed by the UK in Afghanistan and (b) the coalition unmanned aerial vehicles to which the UK has operational access in Iraq. [130024]


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Mr. Ingram: The acquisition costs of the Desert Hawk mini unmanned aerial vehicles deployed by the UK to Afghanistan were around £1.8 million. We do not comment on the costs of equipment acquired by coalition partners such as the unmanned aerial vehicles to which we have access in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Zimbabwe: British Nationality

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plans his Department has put in place to evacuate British citizens in the event of a crisis in Zimbabwe. [130591]

Des Browne: With the FCO, the Ministry of Defence conducts periodic reviews of contingency plans that provide support to the FCO for Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations of British citizens from a range of countries, including Zimbabwe. Should the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorate to the extent that the FCO decides to evacuate British citizens, the MOD would provide assistance to the FCO if requested.

Constitutional Affairs

Departments: Paper

Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what mechanisms are in place to ensure her Department’s economical use of paper. [128011]

Vera Baird: My Department has set in place a contract that provides recycled paper for printing and copying. In addition to this our HQ has piloted a successful paper recycling scheme. Best practice from this pilot is being used to assist development of the Department’s waste strategy and action plan.

Departments: Public Appointments

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the former hon. Members who left Parliament in 2005 who have since been appointed to public bodies by her Department, broken down by party; and who was responsible for making each appointment. [130147]

Vera Baird: Information about the political activity of appointees is recorded and publicised in accordance with the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice. These show that no former hon. Members who left Parliament in 2005 have since been appointed to public bodies sponsored by the Department.

Sir Hayden Phillips: Pay

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how, and at what rate, Sir Hayden Phillips was remunerated for undertaking the inquiry into the funding of political parties; and how much he has been paid to date for that work. [130481]


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Bridget Prentice: Sir Hayden Phillips was appointed by the Prime Minister to conduct a review of the funding of political parties in March 2006.

Sir Hayden Phillips’ gross rate of pay for conducting the review was £700 per day, paid through the DCA. The total amount that he has been paid to date (up to the end of February 2007) has been £40,100 gross.

Politics and Government: South West Region

Andrew George: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what distinct constitutional status applies to (a) Cornwall, (b) the Isles of Scilly, (c) the Cornish people, (d) the Duchy of Cornwall, (e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly, (f) Cornish stannary organisations and (g) any other Cornish or Duchy based institution which does not apply to England; [123754]

(2) what (a) treaties, (b) Acts of Parliament, (c) regulations and (d) statutory instruments provide distinct status to (i) Cornwall and (ii) the Isles of Scilly which does not apply to England. [123755]

Bridget Prentice: The Government addressed the question about the constitutional status of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Duchy of Cornwall on 6 March 2007, Official Report, column 1892W. The position of the Council of Isles of Scilly is recognised in UK legislation where it applies to the Isles. On the question about stannary organisations, there are no valid Cornish stannary organisations in existence. It is noted that stannary courts were abolished under the Stannaries Court (Abolition) Act 1896.

Cornwall has always been an integral part of the Union. There are no treaties today that apply to Cornwall only. With the exception of geographically limited matters such as Private Acts of Parliament for infrastructure works, Acts of Parliament, regulations and statutory instruments apply in Cornwall as they do throughout England, but do not always apply to the Isles of Scilly. There is no special status for legislation which applies to Cornwall or to Cornish localities.

Culture, Media and Sport

Animal Welfare: Finance

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which animal welfare organisations benefited from National Lottery funding in each of the last five years; and how much each received. [130495]

Mr. Caborn: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost as animal welfare organisations are not a separate category on the Department’s Lottery Grants Database.

The Big Lottery Fund does not support animal welfare groups, but it does support some charities involving animals.

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) key focus for funding animals is through the conservation of priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) species and priority UKBAP habitats. As HLF is concerned with
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the conservation and recovery of the UK’s most endangered animals and not the general wellbeing and welfare of animals, HLF has not funded, as far as we are aware, any animal welfare organisations.

Details of individual Lottery awards appear on the Department’s Lottery Grants Database, which uses information supplied by the Lottery distributors and can be searched at www.lottery.culture.gov.uk


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